|Breed Council Report, June 2008|
Report of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier Breed Council
In 1996 a meeting was convened by the Caledonian Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club, held in the Royal Oak, Appleby, and the home of Hillary Cheyne. Present were representatives of all three Dandie Dinmont Terrier Clubs.
The object was to investigate the formation of a Breed Council. Apart from a resolution to petition the Kennel Club to correct the errors which existed in the then current Breed Standard (The petition was successful) nothing came of the meeting other than to form a liaison between the three clubs on an ad hoc basis.
The Liaison meetings carried on until in 2006 the DDTC along with the CDDTC looked to formalise meetings with a view to the formation of a Breed Council; the SDDTC were held back from joining until the Annual General Meeting agreed. The Breed Council was officially registered with the Kennel Club in 2007, soon after the Annual General Meeting of the SDDTC agreed to join.
From the very start all three clubs have worked very hard to formulate a programme of initiatives. These included;
The Judging List being required by the Kennel Club was the first item to be attended to; this was approached in a very sensible manner by merging all three club lists together rather than waste time picking and choosing. At the same time the criteria for inclusion on those lists were examined and taking in to account the current situation within the world of Showing Dogs these were very slightly adjusted accordingly.
As a result of this revision all Championship Shows currently scheduling Dandies have been supplied with a copy of the Judging List. This will be an annual occurrence.
Health Issues: Since so much effort has been put into Glaucoma with eye testing it was considered that the Breed Council should put all its energies into formulation of a campaign to progress with this issue.
To date there have been regular eye testing days but we as breeders have little to show; indeed it can be said there is some confusion with scales being applied either up or down from 1 to 5.
Following an approach from The Animal Health Trust, a meeting has been held by the Breed Council with Jeff Sampson the Kennel Club Geneticist now working with the Animal Health Trust.
Dr Hannes Lohi a molecular geneticist who has a joint position at the University of Helsinki and the Folkhalsan Institute of Genetics in Finland is currently involved with several projects studying various inherited canine diseases. Hannes is the scientist who identified the very first epilepsy gene in dogs.
Hannes has invited Cathryn Mellersh of The Animal Health Trust to work with him to undertake a sib pair analysis. This is taking samples from a pair of siblings, one who is affected with glaucoma and one which is clear.
It is understood that large amounts of funding is available to this project throughout Europe and this will result in very small cost to those participating in the study.
Following discussion The Animal Health Trust wish to assure everyone that confidentiality will be of the utmost importance at all times, no one need fear of anything being divulged at any time.
At this moment in time a quarterly report is published and will be provided to each club for distribution to anyone who wishes to receive a copy.
In an attempt to move on to the next step it has been agreed that The Kennel Club along with Jeff Sampson will ask that in future all ophthalmologists carrying out eye tests on Dandies will not grade eyes but instead will write concise clinical notes as to what has been seen in each eye, so that a clear record is available to check the progress of each dandie tested and so be able to follow any change. Should any such test prove that a dandie is affected by glaucoma the dandie should at the same time have a Bucal swab taken (from inside the cheek) which should be sent to the Animal Health Trust along with the dandies details and if possible a copy of the eye test certificate.
The Breed Council will shortly write to every club member of all three clubs asking for help to obtain Bucal swab tests from all known dandies who have lost eyes due to glaucoma or have been diagnosed with glaucoma and where possible any siblings who are tested clear. These should be accompanied with the latest eye test certificate providing details where possible. Initially the ideal would be to obtain 20 such samples but more would be better.
This would be followed by testing at each of the Clubs future shows throughout this year and the planned eye testing day to be held by the SDDTC in October. The object being to build as big a bank of information which if not used in this project could be used in future projects looking at possibly Cushing’s or Hypothyroidism, the research could well go on into other areas.
The swabs to be used will be supplied by The Animal Health Trust at no cost to either the membership of the clubs or indeed the clubs themselves, but will entail minimal postage costs back to The Animal Health Trust.
On conclusion of the study and when a DNA test has been developed, all dogs participating in the research receive a DNA certificate free of charge, upon the owner’s request.
Initially anyone interested in the project should in the first instance contact:
Keith Derry. Breed Council Secretary. 30 Minsthorpe Lane, South Elmsall, West Yorkshire WF9 2PD.